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Cowboys not fairly on prime of soccer world, however can see path to catching Eagles

Let’s start with the mathematical actuality. At midseason, the Cowboys have demonstrated sufficient energy on either side of the ball to recommend they might end the season with an 11-game profitable streak (matching the mark set in 2016) and a 15-2 report.

After which open the playoffs at 8-9 Atlanta.

Hey, I merely mentioned it is attainable. If you happen to’re watching these video games, would not it seem that all the NFC belongs to the Cowboys and Eagles and that, for Dallas’ sake, one hopes all of it comes all the way down to Dec. 24 at 3:25 pm at AT&T Stadium?

Nevertheless it may not. As sound as this Dallas staff has proven itself to be, Cowboys followers are lowered to scoreboard watching, hoping for that Eagles stumble that will put all of the marbles — NFC East title, No. 1 seed, first-round bye, dwelling playoff video games — on the desk for Christmas Eve. And this week which means cheering Thursday night time for the worst staff within the AFC (Houston) to beat the one undefeated staff within the NFL.

In the meantime, the Cowboys should preserve piling up the wins as they did Sunday, on this case resorting to final 12 months’s methodology of merely outscoring the guests from Chicago, 49-29. If you happen to’re involved concerning the Bears’ 240 yards dashing and 5.6 common per carry, that is comprehensible. Dallas’ lone defensive weak spot —really the largest weak spot on all the staff when you think about factors produced Sunday and this membership’s glorious particular groups — is its run protection.

The Cowboys rank twenty fourth towards the run in whole yards and twentieth in yards per carry. Is that an actual drawback? I do not know. The Cowboys surrender 4.7 yards per run and the Eagles give up 5.2. Does not appear to be an issue for Philly, so long as that protection retains producing greater than two takeaways per recreation.

Principally what we have to be taught from this 6-2 begin is that it isn’t the identical as final 12 months’s 6-2 begin. The Cowboys received 4 straight with out Dak Prescott earlier than dropping at Philadelphia. The Cowboys had by far their greatest offensive showcase Sunday with out Zeke Elliott. For positive, these are usually not the 2016 Cowboys, a staff that surprised the league with sensational manufacturing from two rookies within the backfield.

This staff manages to stun us as a result of it performs so properly with out them. Tony Pollard’s three-touchdown, 131-yard recreation on restricted carries Sunday was basically Jalen Brunson’s three-game efficiency with out Luka Doncic towards Utah final spring. The value tag on Pollard as an unrestricted free agent this low season simply went method up, and perhaps the Cowboys will idiot themselves because the Mavericks did into considering the participant loves it right here and would not need the chance to take the highlight elsewhere.

“He is proficient as hell and he is not simply one other again for us,” Prescott mentioned. “He is a playmaker and a weapon we are going to proceed to make use of.”

Pollard’s future right here is a matter for one more time.

The purpose is that Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs and Pollard and CeeDee Lamb and this sort of loopy wealth of tight ends make this a far, far completely different staff from the one Dak and Zeke led to that 11-game streak and 13-3 report six years in the past.

With the one exception famous concerning the run protection, this staff seems to be loaded and the offense needs to be poised to take off following subsequent weekend’s welcome bye. Are we fooling ourselves by not understanding this staff has loads of street work left to do?

Of the NFL’s 17 groups with data of .500 or higher, Dallas is the one one to have performed 5 dwelling video games. Which means 5 street journeys stay, and 4 of them (sorry, Jacksonville) poses some extent of issue.

At Inexperienced Bay on Nov. 13 feels difficult even with the Packers’ limitations at extensive receiver. They a minimum of coated the unfold and stored it respectable Sunday night time in Buffalo.

At Minnesota on Nov. 20 gives the possibility to see what the 6-1 Vikings, undefeated at dwelling, are actually all about. Just like the Giants, they have not performed a lot that impresses you moreover gathering wins in shut video games.

At Tennessee on Dec. 29 looks like the final word lure, coming simply 5 days after an Eagles recreation that can have captured everybody’s consideration for all the month of December. A staff with a weak run protection going towards Derrick Henry, who simply had a fairly honest October (563 yards dashing in 4 video games), looks like greater than a check.

At Washington on Jan. 7-8 to wrap issues up? Ought to I point out the Commanders’ three-game win streak and that many bizarre issues have occurred when the Cowboys go to FedEx Area?

Save that for one more day.

If you’ll ignore that the 17-game schedule, midseason really comes at halftime in Inexperienced Bay. Think about this the midseason bye week. The Cowboys are usually not fairly on prime of the soccer world. However they will see it from right here, and they’re very acquainted with the staff that stands of their method.

Twitter: @TimCowlishaw

Discover extra Cowboys protection from The Dallas Morning Information right here.

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